With handfuls of food delivery service apps becoming available for us to order whatever we desire with a click of a button while tucked up in bed, it is no wonder they have become so popular within the UK.

There are many kinds of places to deliver from. Local restaurants and shops are always looking for delivery riders, as well as larger chain restaurants and stores. Being a delivery rider allows you to have some flexibility in your work, so you should choose what feels best for you.

In this blog, we are going to be running down everything you need to know about becoming a delivery rider, including all of the pros and cons, outgoing costs to watch as well as exploring how much you can truly earn. So without further ado - let’s get into it!

How to become a delivery rider

Becoming a delivery rider will mean you are responsible for picking up and delivering various orders from restaurants and delivering them to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In most cases, regardless of whether you work for a company or are self-employed, typically you must have access to your own motorcycle or scooter, a valid motorcycle CBT or full licence, be at least 18 years old as well as have suitable delivery rider insurance to protect you and your bike in the event that anything may happen.

After ensuring you have the correct equipment for delivery riding, you will need to start applying. This can either be done via the delivery companies' own websites such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, or it can be done by contacting restaurants individually and applying that way.

Choosing the correct bike for delivery riding

The motorbike or scooter you choose to deliver on will be entirely up to you (providing your insurance policy allows this - if in doubt, double check your documents thoroughly), however, there are a few factors to consider such as:

  • Make sure the seating and riding positions are comfortable
  • Make sure the bike has plenty of storage/ enough room for a top box
  • Check the fuel tank size as well as the range
  • Consider a smaller engine size

And, if you want to know more about how to choose the right motorcycle or scooter for delivery work, please head over to our fully comprehensive guide!

How much does a delivery rider get paid in the UK?

During a study carried out by Talent.com, based on the average of 603 different delivery riders salaries should be £24,375, working out at roughly £12.50 per hour. However, this number will vary depending on a variety of factors such as location, type of courier you are, etc. with the lowest wage coming in at £21,674 compared to one of the highest at £31,200.

As we mentioned above, signing up to work as a delivery driver or rider for larger retail chains and restaurants can provide you with more security in money and the jobs you get, compared to being self-employed on an app and waiting for orders to roll in.

That said, being self-employed allows you the flexibility to choose what hours you want to work, so you can work around other jobs and/or family commitments, so it is most definitely worth having a think about which type of delivery riding will suit both your schedule and your lifestyle the best!

How to make more money as a food delivery rider

There are several ways you can make more money as a food delivery rider, the most popular being delivering to multiple locations in and around where you deliver. And if you aren’t tied down by a specific location, you may have the option to deliver to several places near you - delivering during peak hours can also allow you to maximise the number of deliveries and money you can make.

Big delivery companies such as the likes of aforementioned Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat are always options for you to consider, especially if you live in a city with plenty of restaurants available and open for deliveries.

If you want to know more regarding how to maximise your pay as a delivery rider, please head over to either our how much Uber Eats riders make in the UK or how much do Just Eat riders make in the UK articles!

How and when do you get paid as a delivery rider?

How often you get paid will depend on who you choose to work for. Different companies will have different paydays, which can be found by either contacting your employer or within your contract documents.

Typically for food delivery riders, especially those working for larger cooperation companies (eg. Deliveroo) as we have referenced frequently throughout this article, you will most likely be paid weekly as well as any tips you have earned are entirely yours to keep and pocket.

The outgoing costs to consider

As we mentioned previously, there are a few outgoing costs with delivery riding that you will to consider. These include:

Pros and Cons of working as a delivery rider


  • Set your own schedule and flexible hours
  • Can pick and choose your delivery location
  • You can be your own boss and make your own decisions
  • Opportunities for tips and bonuses


  • Customers can be difficult and can claim ‘false’ refunds
  • Work can be very demanding physically and mentally
  • You are responsible for many of your outgoing costs
  • If you are self-employed, you will need to remember to register yourself with HMRC and fill out a tax return form each year.

Do delivery riders receive a fair wage?

Since the pandemic, delivery drivers and riders have been crucial in keeping small businesses afloat with 24% of businesses starting and maintaining a delivery service during the lockdown, as well as an increase in the amount of app-based food delivery companies available direct from our phones.

Many delivery drivers and riders are considered self-employed, and many barely make minimum wage. There have been discussions about people working in the delivery industry demanding to be seen as employees and to give them the rights any other employee would get.

At the time of writing, whilst companies such as UberEats have legislation in place that means all their riders will receive the National Living Wage at minimum, there are still a few delivery companies out there who are yet to join the movement meaning a solid monthly wage still isn't guaranteed….

Ready to deliver?

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed our in-depth article on how much you can truly earn as a delivery rider within the UK.

Lastly, if you plan on becoming a delivery rider you must have the correct delivery rider insurance. If you are in need, make sure to check out Lexham’s specialist insurance scheme today!